Club sports offer opportunities for the average joe to play hard, stay in shape
College does not have to be a spectator sport and the dorm couch and TV do not have to be a university athlete’s chosen arena.
Thirty-two club sports, from Water Polo to Fencing, make venturing away from the couch an easy choice, especially with the camaraderie, traveling and chance to battle it out against other teams.
The organizational meetings will be held during the first two weeks of school. Meeting schedules can be found in the rec guide, available in the rec center, Coordinator Patty McConnell said.
The meetings are “to answer all questions,” McConnell said.
Men’s and women’s soccer tryouts will be held during the first week of school, each of which have an A team and a B team. Soccer is on a quicker time schedule than any other team, McConnell said, because it is a fall-only sport.
The competition level of each sport varies greatly, McConnell said. Some sports, such as kayaking, are open to all interested parties and no experience is required. On the other end of the spectrum are more competitive club sports, such as soccer. The men’s and women’s teams cannot accept all students who try out because, as McConnell explained, there are not enough facilities to add more teams.
Although the competitive aspect can be fun, McConnell said, the mission of club sports is “all about student development.”
“We’re not all about wins or losses,” she said. The “student leadership” is more important and it is the “officers of the club who are setting the direction of the team.” Student leaders are the managers and main leaders of the clubs. The coaches instruct the team’s play and the coordinators, McConnell and Kris Schoech, assist in arranging travel and equipment.
Although winning may not be the ultimate goal, plenty of that happens as well. CU boasted five national champions in 2005, including mountain biking and men’s ice hockey, among others. Most all club teams make it to the national level, McConnell said.
Rick Hodges, the 2005-2006 captain of the men’s ultimate frisbee team and fifth-year member, said his most memorable team experience was not winning Nationals in 2004, but rather Regionals in 2003.
“We were definitely the underdogs,” said Hodges, an economics major. “No one really expected much out of us.”
The team did not win Nationals that year, but coming from behind was “very satisfying,” Hodges said. The team ended fourth overall, far above the earlier ranking.
Despite the team being a national contender for the past eight years, Hodges said anyone interested can come and play.
“Athleticism…we rate that higher than skills,” he said.
See the rec center guide for all organizational meeting times and team tryout details.